Looking for link building opportunities in your competitor’s backlinks is a time-tested SEO process. If you don’t know what kinds of links you can build to your website, one of the best places to start looking is in your competitor’s backlink profile. The Backlinks report has helpful sorting, filtering, and exporting functions to make this process easy.
Creating a Disavow File
At the top of the report, you’ll see data broken down into three main data widgets. These include Total Backlinks (Referring Domains & IPs), Backlink Types and Link Attributes.
Click on the number of referring domains or IPs to jump to a more in-depth report. Just below these widgets, you will see all of the domain's backlinks listed in a table.
With every backlink in our database, you can evaluate the following:
- Page Score - A metric that measures the importance of the source page based on a number of the external links pointing to it.
- Trust Score - A metric that measures the trustworthiness of the source page based on the number of backlinks from trusted sites pointing to it.
- Source Page Title - The page title of the analyzed domain
- Anchor Text - The text of the hyperlink.
- External Links - Links on the source URL pointing to other websites.
- Internal Links - Links on the source URL pointing to other pages of its website.
- Type - If the link is a special type such as a form, frame, or image link.
- First Seen - Date that SEMrush first saw the backlink.
- Last Seen - Most recent date that SEMrush saw the backlink.
By taking a look at the “first seen” and “last seen” dates, you can estimate the age of a backlink. You can click on either the source page title of the target URL, doing so will prompt you to the overview tab for that specific URL.
Filter in the backlinks report allows you to narrow down your list of backlinks. This is helpful if you know you are looking for backlinks with a certain set of criteria.
There are a number of different ways to filter out your backlinks, with the easiest and most straightforward being the quick filters. These filters are directly above your table of backlinks. They include filtering by links per domain, follow, nofollow, sponsored or UGC links, text, image, form or frame links, and new or lost links.
Links per ref. Domain
These filters will display no more than selected number of links per referring domain.
So in case where you have only one link from each referring domain, this filter returns the same result for every option.
For example: Say you have 3 total referring domains. The 1st domain has 1 link to your domain, the 2nd domain has 100 links to your domain and 3rd domain has 5 links to you domain:
Option All will show: 1 link from 1st domain, 100 links from 2nd domain, 5 links from 3rd domain
Option 1 will show: 1 link from 1st domain, 1 link from 2nd domain, 1 link from 3rd domain
Option 3 will show: 1 link from 1st domain, 3 links from 2nd domain, 3 links from 3rd domain
Option 10 will show: 1 link from 1st domain, 10 links from 2nd domain, 5 links from 3rd domain
The Table Settings gear is able to adjust the display of page titles and URLs in the table. This won’t change the data in the report at all, but it can make it easier to read if your backlinks come from pages with long titles or URLs.
Opening Advanced Filters gives you more options when filtering for specific backlinks. This option lets you search for backlinks by anchor text, referring domain, new & lost, sitewide, IP address, and zone. Multiple advanced filters can be applied at once to gather the most granular data that you’re looking for.
As mentioned above, you can combine filters to get deeper insights from your research. To get started, here’s a list of suggested filters to find competitive insights in the backlinks report:
- Find your competitor’s most recently built links by combining New and Follow filters
- Find topical anchor texts your competitor acquired with the anchor partial match auto-suggest filter
- See if you’ve lost more than one link from the same domain by combining the Referring Domain and Lost filters
- See your competitor’s top partnerships with the Sitewide filter
- Find websites sending “nofollow” links to your site and reach back out to them with a request to change the attribute to “follow” or acquire a new link with the follow attribute.
At any point before or after adding filters, you can export the data to a CSV or excel file to save your research. Exporting after applying filters will export the backlinks listed in the table according to your filters. To save your research, export your list of backlinks to excel or CSV file with the export button above the table.
Your export file will have all of the data based on your filters, allowing you to export specific lists based on your parameters and save room in your export limits. Every row exported in a backlink analytics export will count towards your Analytics limits (see our prices page or go to your subscription info page to check your account limits).
If you would like to export more rows than your account limits allow for, please contact us and request a custom report. After contacting us, an account specialist will listen to you explain the details of your request and offer a quote.
Creating a Disavow File
In addition to studying your competitor’s links to look for link building opportunities, you can use Backlinks Analytics to study your own backlinks and add suspicious links to a disavow list. As you go through your list of backlinks, simply hit the icon in the “disavow” column to add the URL or domain to your disavow list.
After compiling a disavow list, you can send the list to Google as a request to remove your website’s association with the links. This action helps prevent the risk of a Google Penalty. The Backlink Audit tool (found in Projects) offers complete interfacing for the auditing of your backlink profile and disavowing harmful links. From the Disavow list menu, you can upload this list directly into your Backlink Audit or export it to a .TXT file to send to Google’s disavow tool.